Friends travelling to Disney usually ask me if they’re going to be able to take anything into the parks with them or if they’ll be stopped at the gates and asked to throw out the items. I’m always so happy to say that Disney is really very great about allowing guests to bring items into the parks with them – especially drinks and snacks to help offset the costs of the high priced items in the parks. Disney’s got a list of items you can’t take into the parks, but thankfully it’s pretty short considering all the things it could contain. We’ve always taken both snacks and drinks into the parks. Depending on what your group likes and what kind of bag you’re planning on taking into the parks will help determine what kind of items you should pack.
If you’re trying to travel lightly, you might just want to take in a small cooler like you might pack your lunch in. To keep your items cold, it will be neater and easier to use an ice pack if you’re able to keep it frozen in your room (or at least cold). I personally like these sheets – you can cut them into any size to perfectly fit your cooler. For items that don’t need to remain cold, you can keep items together in a large zip top bag or zippered pouch (I love one that has a durable plastic or rubber lining you could easily wipe clean in case anything spills or melts).
If your group’s a little larger but traveling without a stroller, it might make sense to have a couple of backpacks – one for cold items, one for snacks and one for other items. If you don’t think you’ll have enough things for two (or more) separate bags or want to keep drinks and snacks together, you can always try a backpack designed for that.
Traveling with a stroller can be easier but it can also pose more problems. Ideally, you want something that will fit in the basket of your stroller or hang off the handle without causing a problem. We’ve used smaller lunch style coolers but generally use a larger cooler that rode on our double stroller with my youngest son. There has always been more than enough room for anything we’d wanted to take – drinks, snacks that need to stay cool (yogurt, cheese sticks, chocolate chip granola bars, medications, ect) or cold wash cloths. We use a canvas tote from The Disney Store to keep our park things in and either stick the small cooler inside the bag or carry the larger cooler separate. Simple cinch type bags are great for kids who are responsible for carrying their own items or if you’ve got something really light to carry. These style bags also work well if you’re hanging them from a stroller. They usually fit over the handles of an umbrella stroller and don’t get so heavy that they flip the stroller if the child gets out. If we’re taking bathing suits to change into or items for when it cools off in the evening, a simple reusable bag from a local store works great for that. Another thing to consider is taking a small bag of diaper items if you’re traveling with a little one still in diapers. Instead of having to haul the big park bag into the bathroom, sometimes it’s just easier to grab something small and go (include just the basics: diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, reusable changing pad or disposable pads, extra outfit, ect).
Remember that whatever bags you choose, you should be able to carry them all easily and still move around. If you’re using any Disney transportation, you’ll need to be able to get those bags on and off the transportation as well as getting them around the parks on or off a stroller. The bags should be sturdy and be able to handle a beating. Hopefully they won’t take one, but it’s better to know they can take it before something happens and the bag doesn’t survive. Another thing to consider when picking bags is something that’s waterproof. If the entire bag isn’t waterproof, it might be a good idea to either you a zip top bag or another smaller bag that’s waterproof. If you’re taking electronics or other valuable items, a bag that has padding or hard sides might be a better fit. Most importantly, be organized and flexible. Everything will need to be opened and searched before entering a park (another reason for clear zip top bags!) so the fewer the bags, usually the quicker that security check goes.
What do you pack when visiting the parks? Any favorite bags?Share